Interesting post, Mr. Walnut. Generally, I'd say flickr has languished into near irrelavancy over the last few years. Their version of "social media" is at least five years behind the times. With the current dominance of more instant, and what I categorize as "throwaway" communication/images, flickr is nearly pointless for most folks now.
I never posted a lot of pictures there; never felt much need to. I looked around a few years ago when I came back to photography in the digital world and selected Smugmug as a place to store (and limited share) my image files.
What I liked, and still like about flickr is the seemingly limitless grouping. If I want to look at pictures of ferry boats, there are many different groups. If I want to see pictues of baseball, flowers, general landscapes, aircraft, trucks -- they're all there. While I am not participating in the group, there is a 365 project group that I've enjoyed watching. Nice to see the evolution of the project itself as well as the photographers. Anyway, at this point, I think everyone is on hold as the new CEO ponders Yahoo's new direction(s).
To the folks who are suggesting that most flickr members thought they would find fame and fortune, that seems preposterous to me. There is surely a huge proportion of approval seekers cultivating a following that will tell them everything they do is "awesome," but I hardly think they ever thought they could translate this to a business and reliable income. Lots of high school kids dream about the NBA or NFL because a coach tells them they're good and they have some success. The real world intervenes to slap 99.9% of them down in a big hurry.
Mr. Walnut seems to address the disparity between photo sharing sites, like flickr, where many people post photos and can't talk very intelligently about them, and forums like this where lots of people can and do talk knowledgeably about photography and equipment, but where few photos are posted. I don't know of a site that has integrated those two ends of an apparent spectrum. Maybe there is one, but I haven't seen it.
The trend seems to be toward iPhone and the concomitant delivery/sharing systems. Apparently it's damn seductive. I've seen several outstanding pro photographers who now spend most of their time producing "iPhonography." They're even having big shows on the art side.
One person suggested the dust is settling on this whole thing. I think it's a long way from settling and the future is murky and well out of focus for just about everybody. Also, it's never a good idea here to say anything negative about Canon. There are some folks here sensitive as an open sore on that count. Just a word to the....